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For those of you that know me, have read my posts and profile, or have stalked me in other ways to which I am oblivious, (let’s keep it that way), you know that I’m obsessed with France and all things French (Disclaimer: that being said, I don’t actually want to be French – I like America!) I do speak fluent French, find any excuse that I can to travel there and am still scheming up some way to get my career to lead me there, at least for a little while. Now, I know that this, the other “F-word” makes many Americans bristle, but they have given us so many great things! Over 1,000 types of cheese. One-third of all the wine in the world comes from France. Caudalie skincare, for crying out loud!
One of my favorite French foods is a good quiche. Quiche comes from the northeastern regions of Alsace and Lorraine – on the Rhine River border with Germany. Alsace and Lorraine actually were territories that went back and forth between the two countries many times until after World War I. The original quiches were open pies filled with an egg, cream custard and smoked bacon. The addition of onions make it Alsatian. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, eventually evolving into a short-crust or puff-pastry. It became popular in the U.S. after World War II. It’s great for any meal of the day!
My favorite type is a good Quiche Lorraine (with spinach and bacon). My mother (who is not French) always uses pie crust, but you can use puff pastry in a tarte pan for a more authentic look. I also happen to think homemade pie crust is better, but you’re welcome to use store-bought! It’s also often better if the quiche is refrigerated a few hours (even overnight) so that it isn’t runny when you cut into it, like it can be if you eat it right from the oven. Here’s a really delicious Quiche Lorraine recipe, plus one for my favorite crust..
Never-Fail Pie Crust (yields: 4 crusts or 2 covered pies)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups shortening
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
-In a large bowl, Cut the shortening into the 2 1/2 cups flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
-In a small bowl, combine the 6 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 cup water to make a paste. Mix paste into the flour and shortening mixture.
-Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Wrap securely in plastic and refrigerate overnight. (Balls can be frozen for future use).
Spinach Quiche Lorraine
- 9 inch deep dish pie shell
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup shredded swiss or gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 10 oz. evaporated milk (2 small cans)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
-Preheat oven to 425.
-In pie shell, combine bacon, spinach, cheese and onion.
-Separately, mix together eggs and milk, add salt and pepper. Pour into pie shell.
-Place quiche on baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake 15 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes more. It’s done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Bon appétit!